THE road to the Rangers first team is different for every young player but Cammy Palmer has travelled more miles than most on his own Light Blue journey.

It is one that is not yet complete but, several years after stepping into the unknown and into a world of uncertainty, the midfielder is on the right track as he attempts to make his name at Ibrox.

If he is successful, he will owe plenty to his parents. But a Ranger of yesteryear has played his own part in helping the 18-year-old make his dreams come true.

Andy Kennedy’s own Gers career was short-lived but the former striker could have a hand in shaping a star of the future after taking Palmer under his guidance at Whitby Soccer Club in Ontario.

“I lived in Canada for ten years. I was born in York and lived there for eight months,” Palmer told SportTimes. “Then I moved to Canada. My dad is a pastor of a church so he got a job over there.

“It was a mix of just wanting to see something new and get a new experience so that was the main reason they moved out.

“There was a coach in Canada, Andy Kennedy, that used to play for Rangers so when I was moving over he contacted the club and told them about me.

“When I was 11, I moved over here and went on trial. At that time, it was administration, so I was on trial for a wee while. Then I signed when I was 12 and I have been here ever since.”

Whether there was Divine Intervention or not, the influence of Kennedy has been crucial for Palmer and the midfielder is now on the fringes of Steven Gerrard’s squad.

An integral part of the Under-20 side, he was in the matchday group for the Betfred Cup clash with Ayr United at Ibrox last month as he edges closer to a competitive debut.

The opportunity in front of him is one that Palmer has always coveted at Rangers. Now he wants to turn the dream into reality.

“In Canada now, you can see them starting to develop more and more players but obviously at Rangers the opportunities are far greater and the club has such a rich history,” he said.

“It has given players loads of opportunities so I think I am in the perfect place now to go and push on with my career.

“Andy was the head of the team that I was at. It wasn’t really an Academy team, it was like a boys club but a bit higher standard. He contacted Rangers and said that he had worked with me and then the club brought me in on trial.

“Andy is actually back in Scotland now so I saw him at the Hummel Training Centre the other day when I was in the squad. I was speaking to him for a bit and it was quite a cool feeling because he was the one that got me here and I was going in the squad with the first team. It is a bit crazy.”

The progress that Palmer has made will surely be a source of pride to Kennedy but the youngster owes much to more than just the former Birmingham, Blackburn and Brighton forward.

In parents Don and Kirsten, he has others to thank and be thankful for as he has settled into life in Scotland and at Rangers.

“My mum is from Edinburgh so we have Scottish relatives,” Palmer said. “We knew about the club and we had people round us.

“We always had an eye out for the club but didn’t see many games over there. Coming here, then it is when you understand how big the club is and I am a fan now.

“My parents are the main reason behind me doing well and playing football. A big part of it is them and I am grateful for them getting me to training and to games and everything they have done. It is things that might go unnoticed but they are a big part of it all.”

Having been given the platform upon which to build his career, Palmer’s aspirations now lie in the hands of boss Gerrard in the coming weeks, months and years.

The Liverpool legend and assistant Gary McAllister are keen to involve the brightest young talents at Auchenhowie in their first team plans.

And that backing and understanding has been welcomed by Palmer and his Light Blues peers as each strives to make an impression.

“It has been great and I have really enjoyed going round and training with them,” he said. “It has really helped me develop and be confident. I am not worried about making mistakes, I just want to go and prove myself.

“I was in the squad against Ayr and that is an insight into the first team. The manager has a lot of confidence in the youth so he has made a big impact.

“At the start of the season he came in and said that he and Gary had been in our position before so they knew exactly what it is like.

“Hearing that gave us confidence because we know that they understand how we are feeling, the struggles and the ups and downs of being a young footballer. That has really helped and I think they understand us more at a deeper level.”

Palmer has still to be rewarded with a first team debut but he has given himself every chance as he has impressed for the Under-20s this term.

One day, he hopes to lead the way for the Gers kids. Right now, he must lead by example at the Hummel Training Centre.

Palmer said: “I have really enjoyed playing a lot and being captain is a big honour and something that has really helped me progress in terms of being able to lead and encourage others. I have really loved it and I am looking forward to even more experiences.

“I think it is something that I haven’t had naturally but I have grown into. I had to go outwith my comfort zone a bit but it has definitely helped me.

“Being the captain, you can’t be quiet on the pitch, you have to use your voice and your influence. Players look to their captain when they are struggling so I need to fulfil that role for the team.”

*Cammy Palmer’s development is aided by the Rangers Youth Development Company and their support for the Rangers Academy.

The young midfielder is pictured promoting Rangers Lotto – which costs just £1 to play and is one of the most successful products in RYDC’s growing portfolio.

Since 2002, RYDC profits have been directed to Rangers Football Club’s youth programme - with more than £7.5 million provided in the past 16 years.

For full details on RYDC products – Rangers Lotto, Rangers Pools, Rising Stars, Scratchcards, Stadium Bricks and the Youth Members Club – visit or call 0141 427 4914.